Changes in Marital Satisfaction Across the Transition to Parenthood: The Role of Adult Attachment Orientations

Jamie L. Kohn, Steven W. Rholes, Jeffry A. Simpson, A. Mc Leish Martin, Si Si Tran, Carol L. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


This longitudinal study investigated marital satisfaction trajectories across the first 2 years of parenthood. Data were collected from new parents (couples) 6 weeks before the birth of their first child, and then at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months postpartum. Growth curve models revealed two key findings. First, for highly anxious individuals, satisfaction was lower or declined when they perceived their partners as less supportive and as behaving more negatively toward them. Second, for highly avoidant individuals, satisfaction was lower or declined when they perceived more work-family conflict and greater demands from their families. The findings suggest that attachment insecurities predict dissatisfaction in new parents primarily when stressors block the pursuit of important attachment goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1506-1522
Number of pages17
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology

Cite this